Cars and Contemporary Communication| Disability, Connected Cars, and Communication

Gerard Goggin


In this article, I take up a highly visible theme in discourses, experimentation, and manufacture of connected cars and autonomous vehicles: disability. I analyze the leading ways in which this new kind of technology is imagined for particular users with disability, as in the highly publicized case of Google’s pilot driverless vehicle promoted as a boon for blind people and those with vision impairments. Then, I try to stand this kind of framing of connected-cars-as-good-for-disability on its head, and discuss the implications for questions of emerging social technology, equality, diversity, and design.  Reflecting on this analysis, I look at what disability tells us about connected cars, and, indeed, how we might rethink communication and technology.


disability, connected cars, autonomous vehicles, communication, mobile communication, accessibility, diversity, design

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